I’ve been on the struggle bus over here for the past couple of weeks but am slowly working my way out of the funk. Like anything that is worth doing, it’s a process. Since pretty much everyone can relate to not wanting to work out, or at least struggling with it, I want to share how I got my training mojo back, because I’m a sharer.
STEP ONE: LET YOURSELF NOT CARE
It took me a long time to learn how to sit with my feelings. Most of my adult life I’ve survived by pushing away negative feelings or hurt and either forcing the thoughts from my mind or literally running away from them. It’s much harder to sit with the bad stuff and just feel it but, when you do that, you can move past it without it rearing it’s ugly head.
Every time I would start to think about how much I didn’t want to continue with my training, I would try to dig a little deeper into why I was feeling that way, instead of shoving the thoughts from my head.
I skipped workouts.
I sat with my feelings.
I moved on to the next day.
STEP TWO: COMMUNICATE
You may be under the false assumption that this one is easy for me since I have a blog and write for a living. You would be wrong. I have a very hard time telling other people when I’m struggling (except for my husband) and tend to keep those things to myself.
Once I started blogging about my struggle and talked with my coach, amazing things happened. People reached out. Friends wanted to help.
My coach offered to do some long rides with me and we moved all my long brick sessions to Monday instead of me struggling to fit them into a busy family weekend.
I also seem more human to my friends which is always a good thing, right?
“Oh look she’s struggling! She’s not a robot after all!”
STEP THREE: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL
The other day I was supposed to run a two mile warm-up and then three miles between 6:15-6:30 pace. After a 2,200 yard swim and in the pouring rain. The only thing that pushed me though those three brutal miles of speed was thinking about my goal of making the World Championship team. My thoughts went something like this:
Has my coach lost her mind? Why would she think I can do this?
I CAN do this. Fast and light, fast and light.
This is insane. People are looking at me like I’m a lunatic…because I AM!
I wonder what the woman who placed first in my age group at nationals is doing right now?
I will think about this pain when I’m racing in a few weeks and pull what I need from it.
If I didn’t have a big goal that I wanted to reach, I probably would have quit that run and eased up on the pace. I was struggling and it was hard but, I did it and felt great afterward.
STEP FOUR: REMEMBER WHY YOU LOVE IT
Somewhere during my training, whether I’m in the pool, on my bike or out running I can’t help but smile. I think about how I GET to do this and how long I have been able to do it.
For me, there is nothing like pushing though the water feeling slippery, sleek and fast or speeding downhill on my bike at 50 mph or heading out on a run feeling like I could fly.
If I’m not having fun, I’m not doing it.
I’m still having a lot of fun.
STEP FIVE: SEE THE SIGNS
I never used to believe that the universe will tell you everything you need to know if you just listen to it. Now I know there are signs everywhere if you pay attention.
I had several things happen to point me in the right direction including just kind words from people I don’t even know that well. A simple ‘you look great, are you training for something?’ goes a long way in my book.
I also usually gain plenty of perspective, if I’m open to it. When I was upset about my beats headphones being drowned to wreckage from my sweat and complained about it to my husband arguing “aren’t you supposed to be sweating in these?” he replied, “probably not for two hours a day.” #lightbulb
Although everything is not perfect (nor was it ever) I’m feeling a lot better about my training and have a renewed motivation leading into my first race of the season.
In the immortal words of Ice Cube “…life is not a track meet, it’s a marathon…” I also need to remember my core belief of training for life.
How do you get your mojo back?
What can you add to the list?